Bluets is a documentary adapted for the screen from a collection of autobiographical prose penned by author Maggie Nelson. This film, as well as her book by the same title, is a philosophical investigation of color as it relates to emotion, subjectivity, and colective/individual memory. This documentary presents both found and original footage of blue objects in order to chronicle Nelson’s relationship with color after her friend developed quadriparesis following a serious accident. The color blue, which becomes inextricably linked to memories Nelson has of her terminally ill friend, ultimately shades her perception of blue with both love and pain. This dualism influences the order of images and prose illustrated on screen. When the film begins, the viewer is presented with a montage that seemingly corresponds to the film’s voiceover. However, the order of images presented in the beginning of the documentary is directly analogous to the literal narration spoken from the film’s end. The vise-versa trajectory of the narration and cinematography, where ideas and imagery expressed in the film’s voiceover move in chronological opposition to their visual counterparts, inevitably intersects at the symmetrical midpoint of the film. When this occurs, spectators are encouraged to engage with their own memory to better understand what has and will be rendered on screen.

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